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Who makes a lousy car battery? #15986292 04/12/21
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Jim in Idaho Offline OP
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Going on the assumption that a lot of manufacturers' products will work just fine, just like most manufactured goods, who makes passenger car batteries that you should absolutely avoid? **

Also, are there any real standout great batteries in the field?

This would be for a 2004 Honda CRV. Had an AC Delco that lasted 7 years and got it replaced in Feb. 2020 with a Les Schwab XHD that doesn't seem to be holding a charge very well. For the last few months starting seems more sluggish than usual especially when the car has been sitting for 2-3 days without driving it. I know it was winter but the car is garaged and sits right next to the water heater and furnace so the ambient temp around the battery hardly gets below 40 or 45 degrees.

I charged it fully yesterday afternoon then went out this morning and started it 5 times in a row, it started okay but the cranking was slower than what I've been used to over the 17 years I've owned the car. Put the battery charger on it right afterwards and the indicator lights showed it was below an 80% charge. If I drive it for 20-30 minutes to go somewhere, park it for a few minutes and start it the engine turns over fairly quickly but even at best it's not the "instant fast crank and jump to life" starts I'm used to with this car.

The battery is still under the 2 year warranty so going to take it down to have Les Schwab check it but if it crapped out after only one year I'm not sure I even want a new replacement - if they find the battery is defective - so am exploring alternatives for a completely different brand.






** this being the fire, I'm guessing Les Schwab batteries will be high on the list to avoid... wink


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Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986339 04/12/21
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You didn`t say if you checked for corrosion on the posts. Both of mine had to be cleaned this winter. Working fine now.

Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986341 04/12/21
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I have found NAPA batteries made by Johnson Controls to be absolutely worthless. Johnson CAN make some good batteries, but I believe NAPA has set the contract parameters just to the point where the battery intentionally fails within the warranty period, hooking the customer into coming back to claim a few bucks credit on the warranty...to repeat the cycle over and over. I am not a casual user, my son and I have about 20 pieces of equipment and commercial vehicles, we use a lot of batteries.


Well this is a fine pickle we're in, should'a listened to Joe McCarthy and George Orwell I guess.
Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986386 04/12/21
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my family has had decent luck with aaa batteries.

Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: ipopum] #15986389 04/12/21
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Jim in Idaho Offline OP
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No corrosion, they cleaned everything well when the new battery was installed. It's rated for 500-750 cold crank amps and the Honda specs call for a 500 cca battery.



[Linked Image]


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Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: flintlocke] #15986399 04/12/21
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Originally Posted by flintlocke
I have found NAPA batteries made by Johnson Controls to be absolutely worthless. Johnson CAN make some good batteries, but I believe NAPA has set the contract parameters just to the point where the battery intentionally fails within the warranty period, hooking the customer into coming back to claim a few bucks credit on the warranty...to repeat the cycle over and over. I am not a casual user, my son and I have about 20 pieces of equipment and commercial vehicles, we use a lot of batteries.

Appreciate the real life experience as I need to replace a couple. Which brand(s) have you been happiest with?

Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986412 04/12/21
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There are only two battery manufacturers, just lots of different labels. Take your pick...

Brand/ Manufacturer
ACDelco / Johnson Controls
Advance Auto / Johnson Controls
AutoCraft / Johnson Controls
Autolite. / Exide
AutoZone / Johnson Controls
Bosch / Johnson Controls
Champion / Johnson Controls
Costco / Johnson Controls
Delco / Johnson Controls
Delco-Remy / Exide
DieHard. / Johnson Controls
Duralast / Johnson Controls
Duralast / Johnson Controls
Equalizer / Johnson Controls
EverStart / Exide or Johnson Controls
Firestone /Johnson Controls
Interstate /Johnson Controls
Marathon / Exide
Motorcraft / Johnson Controls
NAPA /Exide
Optima /Johnson Controls
Orbital /Exide
Pep Boys /Johnson Controls
Sears / Exide or Johnson Controls
Wal-Mart / Exide or Johnson Controls,

Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986413 04/12/21
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Wal-Mart Ever Start Maxx work for me.

Project farm on youtube did a review of several different batteries and the Ever Start did really well.

Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986416 04/12/21
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Originally Posted by Jim in Idaho
No corrosion, they cleaned everything well when the new battery was installed. It's rated for 500-750 cold crank amps and the Honda specs call for a 500 cca battery.



[Linked Image]


That's exactly how my tractor looked but was very sluggish and at times would not even turn over.

Mechanic bud stopped by to look -first statement was "corrosion".

It was on the cables under where they meet the mounts.

He cut about 1/2" cable off of both +/- sides and it's not been an issue since.

Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986419 04/12/21
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Before you change batteries, have the alternator checked. I assume it's from 2004? It might not be putting out enough amps to properly charge it. Just checking the voltage won't tell you much.

The recommended minimum amperage is 1 CCA per cubic inch of engine, 2 CCA/inch on diesels.


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Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986423 04/12/21
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I'm a big fan of getting tires and batteries from Walmart.
They're located EVERYWHERE and open more hours than many other stores.

I travel for work so knowing I can get what I need in any podunk town has a lot of utility.

Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986426 04/12/21
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Rock Chuck Offline
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Walmart batteries are highly rated. Unless you get into some of the high priced specialty batteries, they're near the top.


Sin wouldn't be so attractive if the wages were paid immediately.
,,...............
70. The age when your body gives your brain a list of things it isn't going to do anymore
Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986437 04/12/21
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Originally Posted by Jim in Idaho
Going on the assumption that a lot of manufacturers' products will work just fine, just like most manufactured goods, who makes passenger car batteries that you should absolutely avoid? **

Also, are there any real standout great batteries in the field?

This would be for a 2004 Honda CRV. Had an AC Delco that lasted 7 years and got it replaced in Feb. 2020 with a Les Schwab XHD that doesn't seem to be holding a charge very well. For the last few months starting seems more sluggish than usual especially when the car has been sitting for 2-3 days without driving it. I know it was winter but the car is garaged and sits right next to the water heater and furnace so the ambient temp around the battery hardly gets below 40 or 45 degrees.

I charged it fully yesterday afternoon then went out this morning and started it 5 times in a row, it started okay but the cranking was slower than what I've been used to over the 17 years I've owned the car. Put the battery charger on it right afterwards and the indicator lights showed it was below an 80% charge. If I drive it for 20-30 minutes to go somewhere, park it for a few minutes and start it the engine turns over fairly quickly but even at best it's not the "instant fast crank and jump to life" starts I'm used to with this car.

The battery is still under the 2 year warranty so going to take it down to have Les Schwab check it but if it crapped out after only one year I'm not sure I even want a new replacement - if they find the battery is defective - so am exploring alternatives for a completely different brand.






** this being the fire, I'm guessing Les Schwab batteries will be high on the list to avoid... wink


We have a 2005 Honda CRV. I just changed the battery yesterday. Instead of buying another 51r (R stands for reverse posts... as does F (or Ford))...

I installed a 34N Series battery. The same high power battery I use on a lot of my diesel trucks and equipment. Pretty much twice for cold cranking amps.

Of course I had to modify the battery tray to accept a larger battery, but it did fit just fine. If you would like pictures PM me your phone number and I will text them to you.

As for who makes the best battery, there's only a couple of battery manufacturers out there... most just rebrand. All use recycled lead... except Optima AMG... they use virgin lid and their battery performance is legendary. I have an Optima Red Top from 2007... still holding a charge. But they are very expensive!

The main problem with a 51R battery is that it was born puney at 400 amps... and will fail to start the car after only a few years. The 34 Series Battery I installed is 800 CCA. I expected the last me a good six or eight years.

On a side note... I replace my alternator a month ago. You may have a weak alternator also. Not an easy job. You have to remove the CV axle. You will need a lift... or a love of misery.

Last edited by CashisKing; 04/12/21. Reason: Typos

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Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986443 04/12/21
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Jim in Idaho Offline OP
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Hopefully it's not the alternator although that's a good suggestion to check it. I wouldn't even try to attempt such a job but there's a mechanic close by whom I've used for many years. If it's an expensive job then it's an expensive job but at least I could expect a fair price and quality work from him instead of the colon cleansing you'd get from a dealership.

Got an appointment at Les Schwab tomorrow morning for a "free battery check", which might just be "yep, it's charged!", but in the meantime I put the car on a battery tender every so often to keep it charged.


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Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986456 04/12/21
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FYI... you can do a Google search of physical battery Dimension sizes and how many CCAs.

Bottomline, the 34N is the best bang for the buck... size, power, cost etc.

24s are close on power and a bit cheaper, but slightly bigger on physical dimensions.


If you spend your life acting the victim, your award will always be a busted nose.
Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986460 04/12/21
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Jim in Idaho Offline OP
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Thanks, right now it's just in the diagnostic stage so it could be that the battery is okay. If Schwab says it's good then the next step is going literally right next door to the mechanic and have him check stuff. Could even be the starter is going, just have to start at the start and eliminate possibilities.


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Hit the target, all else is twaddle!
Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Rock Chuck] #15986469 04/12/21
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Jim in Idaho Offline OP
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Originally Posted by Rock Chuck
Before you change batteries, have the alternator checked. I assume it's from 2004? It might not be putting out enough amps to properly charge it. Just checking the voltage won't tell you much.

The recommended minimum amperage is 1 CCA per cubic inch of engine, 2 CCA/inch on diesels.

Thanks - the battery rating at 500-750 CCA should be good to go. It's a 2.4L 4 cylinder engine which is 146 ci, not exactly big Detroit iron. wink


Gunnery, gunnery, gunnery.
Hit the target, all else is twaddle!
Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986471 04/12/21
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Worst I've ever had is the X-2 Power(something) AGM... Over $300 bux... First one wouldn't hold a charge. Exchanged free for battery #2.. #2 also wouldn't hold a charge within the first year.. Took it back - and was told 'we'll replace this one, but if it comes back again with less than 10V, we won't honor the warranty... Checked it two weeks ago (WITH a tender on it) and the voltage was 5.6V.. mad

I just dropped that POS off last week at the local auto parts store for a standard maintenance-free series 31 (for $114) and hope I won't have to mess with this crap again...

Best of luck with your issues sir...


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Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986482 04/12/21
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Originally Posted by Jim in Idaho
Thanks, right now it's just in the diagnostic stage so it could be that the battery is okay. If Schwab says it's good then the next step is going literally right next door to the mechanic and have him check stuff. Could even be the starter is going, just have to start at the start and eliminate possibilities.


Could also be bad grounding leads at the block.

When I do a battery retrofit like I just did... or rewire a trailer... I ground the crap out of everything at least twice. Never ever hurts to have lots and lots of cross grounding.

Honda ground wires are lighter than I like, but I am an overkill kinda guy.

Good luck... these are great little beaters. Paid $2700 for mine and treat her like a redheaded stepchild. Cheaper than an ATV.


If you spend your life acting the victim, your award will always be a busted nose.
Re: Who makes a lousy car battery? [Re: Jim in Idaho] #15986493 04/12/21
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You can get a load test just about anywhere that sells batteries. Autozone, Napa, and other places do it for free, hoping to sell you a battery I'm sure.... the thing is, your battery should be at full charge when the load test is done or it won't really mean much and most places will tell you this if they are reputable...

I got my last couple batteries at Autozone- the Everlast batteries and they seem to be holding up well. My hot rod gets an Optima AGM battery because it sits a lot and I hate dealing with batteries that can't hold a charge. Funny thing is, last couple times I bought batteries at Les Schwab I had the same problems you're having and started buying my batteries other places after that and the issue stopped. Coincidence?

Bob


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